SaaS… Free… Cloud computing… Dead

It probably sounds a bit funny to lament the death of web apps on a Mac productivity blog when web apps neither scream Mac or productive. The truth of the matter is though, I was am a heavy user of many web apps, more so than most of the native apps on my machine.

Let’s see, I use a remote time tracker, Google mail/calendar/reader, todo, flickr, Twitter… See where I am going with this? Most of these apps replaced local versions of the same service, and somewhat poorly, I might add. But the all have one really big advantage in that they can be accessed from anywhere and shared with anyone so easily that a monkey could do it.

But their biggest drawback to date is causing me to rethink the value of mobile access… since they only exist in the etherweb, if a developer decides to pull the plug on a service, you’re screwed! This already happened in a pretty big way this week with the loss of iWantSandy, Stickit, and pownce.

While I was only really effected by the loss of Stickit, I was still left scrambling for a desktop alternative that could do everyhing that I required of Stickit, and it such a way that felt familar. That’s how I came to use TaskPaper from HogBay Software. Now that working remotely is not as critical to me it was in my commuting and contracting days, this desktop solution seems to be the way I ought to move with all my other cloud solutions.

To be honest, Mail.app has come a long way since I dropped in the OS X 10.2 days, I already have BusySync syncing my Google calendar to iCal.app, rss feeds are a dime a dozen and would take me long to move back to NewsFire, and there are time tracking apps that actually keep accurate record of what a am really doing and not what a SAY I am doing.

Is your computing in the cloud? Do you feel secure with your choices in software as a service providers? Do you have a backup plan if/when they pull the plug? What do you think is the perfect balance?

 

Adam Merrifield

 

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